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Thread: Moving drain pipe only 3/4"

  1. #1

    Default Moving drain pipe only 3/4"

    I am installing a jetted tub in place of a fiberglass tub-shower combination unit that cracked in my 1996 home. I have not been able to locate a tub that has the exact wall to drain clearance (from the back of my RHD alcove) as the old tub, and therefore need to move the drain and supply lines (pvc). No problem with the (now exposed) supply lines, but does anyone have a suggestion how to move the drain over only 3/4 inch? The tub is on the second floor with no exposure from underneath. Even if I open the wall up on the first floor, a 45 elbow will move me over too far?!? Not real thrilled with the prospect of a rubber tube clamped to the pipe, I want to live here a long time and do not trust that arrangement long term.

    There is a pan built of flashing around the drain pipe, so I am unsure exactly what is under/around my drain. It appears to be solid wood from the joists. One additional question, is the seat between the tub/overflow connector and the floor drain simply a compression fitting (i.e. can I pull straight up to disconnect or could I break something)?

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    New England


    First, I'm not a pro...

    Many of the drains use a compression fitting, some thread together, a few are glued. Can't tell without looking, so yes, you could break something if you just pulled it out. Might not, but probably.

    If the tub has a skirt (sounds like it does), then unless you can make an access hole in the wall at the head of the tub from another room, then you'll probably have to put a hole in the ceiling from below.

    Now, if you are going to throw that tub away, you could use a sawsall and just cut part of the tub skirt away, then you can get a good look at the connection. You should be able to figure it out and get the rest of the tub out. Depending on the drain for your new tub, my guess is that you'd need to cut the existing drain out (assuming it is glued in) along with the trap, then assemble a new one in the proper position. Again, though, it would be a lot easier if you had access to this connection while you set the tub in place, otherwise it is probably going to take a few install, remove cycles to line things up. Here, with limited access is where a pro (could) shine in getting it all together right. If I were going to do it, I'd measure as close as I could, dry fit things, set the tub in place, verify it fits, take the tub out mark each connection so thatyou can put it back exactly as needed, then glue things up. Problem is, you only get one chance to do this right as you glue it. That is where a pro with experience and finesse can be worth the cost. If you have access from either the end through the wall, or from underneath in the ceiling, then it is much easier to do for either a DIY or a pro.

    Lonny or one of the other pros will probably give some other thoughts...just have to wait until they finish their paying jobs for the day!
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3

    Default Thank you & further thoughts

    Thanks for the input Jim. Actually, the tub is out at this point, being a combination unit there was no way it was coming out in one piece (through existing doors) anyway, so we just "deconstructed" it.

    Your response may be confirming my worst fear, that perhaps the only way to move a small amount to the side may be to extend the pipe in the basement and then cut through the firestops and header boards at the first floor to create an access through to the second floor for a small movement. However, if I go this way, it basically means enlarging the drain holes to one side, and would I need to then fill the back side of the old hole to keep up to code (draft access)? I am not afraid to rip out drywall on the first floor, easy enough to fix, but is it necessary? Wondering if there are special tools the pros have to do this to avoid the carpentry work (a hole saw with a 6' extension?), but then how to fill the gaps in the fire stops? If so, this very well could be one of those projects where bringing in a pro to do the project is just the wisest thing to do.

  4. #4
    Engineer jdkimes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Littleton, CO

    Default Move tub instead?

    There may be some reasons why this doesn't work, but instead of moving the drain, can you move the tub?
    In other words is it harder to reposition the pipes underneath or to make modifications so the tub is moved? Maybe cut a little off the apron around it and notch the studs a little to get that 3/4".

    Just an idea.


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